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york times" reports american officials say there is no smoking gun that directly lin links iowa shar al-assad to the attacks. the president is expected on a conference call today to brief high ranking members of congress about his plans for syria. >> military hardware is on the move. britain is deploying a half dozen war planes to cyprus that is just off syria's coast and russia is moving two war ships into the mediterranean. add to that the british government made its case for launching a strike on syria. britain says it could attack without authorization from the united nations, justifying the use of force based on humanitarian grounds. >> when we look at the frankly relatively brief document, a page and a half from the british government, it is quite clear, isn't it? it doesn't need further authorization other than by parliament to go into the fighting. >> reporter: other than by parliament is a big caveat. a number of members of the opposition and also within david cameron's own conservative party have said they want to wait for more evidence and this is why while they're debating it toda
this month president obama called for syrian president bashar al-assad to go. today, white house officials declared the objective of any possible military action would not be to drive the dictator from power. >> the options are not about regime change, they're about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: leaving republicans to demand what exactly the mission would be. >> i certainly hope the reaction isn't simply lobby some cruise missiles in to disagree with assad's murderous actions. >> reporter: the president ran for office, railing against what he called unilateralism by the bush team in iraq and elsewhere. when boston globe gave candidates written questions, they asked about bombing iran without authorization from congress. senator obama said the president doesn't have power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. >> the standard in 2007 to candidate obama was an actual or imminent threat to
al assad is a war criminal, a mass murderer and a baby killer. by using poison gas on syrian civilians which is against the geneva convention, asatisfied is now responsible for thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. according to the humanitarian group, doctors without borders. so there is no question that assad must be held accountable. if you believe in american exceptionalism that this country has a moral obligation to save lives when it can all over the world, then you know the u.s.a. must act against assad as it did against saddam hussein. however, we cannot make the same mistakes we made in iraq. president obama is now perceived throughout the world as indecisive when it comes to writing international wrongs. putin and russia, the chinese and iran do not fear him. those countries do pretty much what they want to too. in this case that means supporting the mass killer assad. so, mr. obama a unique opportunity not only to damage assad but to show the world that we are the good guys and that those helping assad are the bad guys. in order to do that the president must
to are generally very sympathetic to the assad regime. most people here believe that it is the u.s. basing a case on false evidence, that the regime is saying as well. if the u.s. shows evidence, they might have a case, but so far he says there isn't a shred of evidence to support what the u.s. is saying publicly, so therefore -- you also heard the prime minister saying he believes this is also a false pretext. you do have people here on the ground who simply cannot believe that their government would have used these kinds of weapons against civilians. >> fred pleitgen who is in damascus today. another western assault on the arab world could come with serious consequences. so now to the reaction from key capitals. >> our matthew chancy is in london, where they are condemning the weapons attack by the assad regime. russian leaders are leading the international attack against a strike. they would feel the impact of any stepped up fight. want to hear first from matthew in the british capital. >> reporter: i'm matthew chance in london. the use of chemical weapons in syria is unacceptable. the world s
it is undeniable president bashar al-assad is behind the attacks, setting the stage for an international brawl. president hassan rouhani of iran said he will press forward with attempts to ward off military action by western nations against president bashar al- assad. he was quoted as saying that military action will bring great cost for the region. it is necessary to apply all effort to prevent it. according to state tv, he said both iran and russia would work in cooperation to prevent any military action against syria. meanwhile, the united states and its allies continue to pair for a potential strike. president obama told pbs yesterday he did not want a prolonged military intervention. >> if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on a national security over the long term and may have a positive impact in the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians. >> the white house announced it will brief members of congress later today on plans to move forward with a mi
the president. he says no doubt the assad regime used chemical weapons on its own people here. he will be briefing members of congress later in the evening. what do we expect to hear from the president today? >> well, we may not hear anything specifically publicly. this, they have presented at least they have this intelligence estimate, this i should say intelligence report that musters whatever evidence they have that the regime as they would argue did use chemical weapons. they're presenting that to the members of congress. this would be presumably a classified report, and then it is unclassified for the public, and we have been promised that will come out this week. so today is thursday. one more day after this. then they have to decide what to do. suzanne, that's where it gets more complicated because every minute they have to be -- if there is to be a military response, they have to be analyzing what is going on in syria, where are the regime troops, and what targets would they hit, et cetera, and that can change as let's say chemical weapons or any other type of weapons are
mission set to go after assad's chemical weapons. it's not possible to carry out a surgical strike on chemical weapon storage facilities. assad is estimated to have 100 tons of the material. such a strike could unleech the chemicals and lead to a lot of death and destruction, and those chemicals are basically kept in underground sites. any plans to secure assad's chemical weapons would require special operations and boots on the ground. that's not on the table right now. the u.s. is planning a limit strike. it has four navy destroyers in position and at least one nuclear-powered submarine. the brits have another submarine in the met -- mediterranean. >> trace: what about the timing? when is this likely to happen? >> it's not likely to happen before thursday. if you look at the timing, defense secretary chuck hagel spoke to his birch and french counterparts, but there's also a very important meeting scheduled in brussels at nato headquarters tomorrow, and no strike will happen before that time. >> let's get the facts. let get the intelligence. and then a decision will be made on whe
to the attack in the damascus suburbs. paris was increasing military support to those fighting president assad's army. >> the world is horrified following the confirmation of chemical weapons being used in syria. everything leads us to believe it was the regime that carried out this to spit able -- this despicable act. it must not go unanswered. france is ready to punish those who made the decision to gas these innocents. >> he joins me now. thank's for talking to. perhaps no greater price -- no surprise to what francois hollande had to say. >> yes, some strong words from the french president. he said everything led to france believe the attack in damascus ws carried out by this year in government. he called this an abject actin said the chemical attack must not go unpunished. aside from the strong words, little in the way of concrete action being announced here it all eyes had to be on what steps would be taken next. he knows the french defense counsel would be meeting tomorrow in paris. that is the head of the armed forces and the defense minister he said france would take action when the ma
against an array of targets that have been identified which belong to the assad regime that enables that regime to conduct its war making abilities and deliver the chemical weapons, command and control facilities, intelligence facilities, barracks facilities, integrated air defense, even the navy. it's important that we realize those strikes could be initiated immediately because those target folders, as they're called, have been in place and updated as a matter of routine. the intelligence community does that routinely. so these targets are identified and it's just a matter of telling the combatant commander and the central command in conjunction with the european command to launch the strikes. >> and it has been said they would use tomahawk cruise missiles. it's never just tomahawk cruise missiles that have to be considered. beyond the missiles, what's the strategic objective here? >> it's good to be here. i think there are key key objectives to any military campaign. first to punish assad to use chemical weapons, second to degrade his ability to make war against his own people an
. just what does the u.s. have on assad? was he personally behind a chemical attack? two hours from now senior officials in the obama administration will brief congressional leaders on the situation in syria. the administration has repeatedly claimed that it is certain that the regime of president bashar al assad used chemical weapons on its on people. again, congressional leaders get that information in two hours, but our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has been working her sources and has something of a preview now. barbara, just what have you learned? >> let's unlock that intelligence dossier just a little bit here. first up, what we now know is that the u.s. has intercepts after the attack of syrian generals talking amongst themselves about the use of chemicals in this attack that happened last week. that's a very strong piece of evidence that underscores the administration's conclusion that the regime was behind it. but was bashar al assad's hand really on the button? did he give the order? that is less clear we are told. officials won't say whether assad had his finger on the
that the ap quotes intelligence officials as saying the evidence linking president assad to the attack is, quote, no slam dunk. remember that phrase? nevertheless, while speaking on pbs last night, the president said there has to be consequences. but that doesn't mean there has to be an all-out war. >> if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, iraq, which i know a lot of people are worried about. but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying stop doing this, this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term. >> but many members of congress aren't on board. at least not yet. house speaker john boehner weighed in wednesday sending a letter to the president in which he laid out 14 questions he believed the president had to answer before launching a strike on syria. calling on the president to, quote, make the case to the american people and congress for how potential military action will secure american national security inter
at this hour. >> for our military operations will not cease. >> defiance and determination as the assad regime faces growing pressure from the west. >> new dangers as the nation's biggest forest fire threatens critical water and energy supplies and not to mention america's cherished trees. >> extreme flooding in mexico triggering landslides claim the lives of 13 people. >> it's a very short trip, but a very steep price. we'll tell you about amateur astronauts ponying up big bucks for a ride in outer space. >> the syrian government is firing back, saying it will defend itself using all available means in case of a strike. british prime minister david cameron recalled parliament from a summer break to discuss syria tomorrow. u.n. inspectors hit yet another road block. their investigation on site being delayed. the syrian government says it's not our fault. david jackson is on the ground in lebanon to get the story straight. the syrian foreign minister said if the west used military action, the syrian government wouldn't stop its own military campaign. does this put the u.s. in position where it
>> building a case against bashir al-assad. the u.s. is gathering evidence that he was behind the suspected chemical attack. >> from al jazeera as headquarters in doha, i'm here with the top stories from around the world. the rain has stopped but the water is still rising. flooding for forces thousands from their homes in northeast china. also ahead. [ sobbing ] >> conflicts reports on how many were killed but both sides say they will keep fighting in the democratic republic of congo. >> the united states says it's gathering evidence ahead of possible military action against syria. the u.s. u.k. and france believe bashir al-assad used chemical weapons in the attack last week. 300 died. >> it was up of defiance. >> we're all hearing the drums of war around us. if they want to launch a war in syria, i think the pretext of chemical weapons is frail and fragile. it is a pretext. >> reporter: the u.nit would bea breach of international law. >> we hope that the american and european leaders who seek such military attacks all remarks about them have enough wisdom, especially seen tha
has obtained exclusive video. fred, what's the reaction from the assad regime to continued strong language like that from the obama administration? >> reporter: i think they are hearing it. i was in with the information ministry of the country, who is a powerful figure. he spoke differently than i seen syrian officials speak in the past couple of days. before that you would hear them say if attacked, syria would fight back. the syrian people would rise up. you still hear that rhetoric but a lot less bold, and it comes of course after statements like secretary of state kerry yesterday and the one from vice president biden today. right now what i'm hearing them say is the u.s. ought to give the u.n weapons inspectors on the ground here more time to do their work and wait for their assessment. of course, the u.s. has gone a step further and it seems the syrian government is starting to realize it's a less of a question if the u.s. and allies will strike and more of a question when. that is the mood i got today with the meeting with the information minister of this country. >> fred, y
to syrian president bashar al assad. radical sunni groups are supporting the opposition forces. earlier this month a car bomb went off in a hezbollah stronghold in lebanon's capital beirut. the explosion killed more than 20 people. >>> u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon is urging the syrian government to let inspectors thoroughly investigate the latest allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons. opposition leaders in the country say government forces targeted their towns with poison gas. ban is taking the accusation seriously. >> any use of chemical weapons anywhere by anybody under any circumstances would violate international law. such a crime against humanity should result in serious consequences for the perpetrator. >> opposition leaders say forces loyal to president bashar al assad fired rockets loaded with chemical weapons at their stronghold in a suburb of damascus. they say the attack killed hundreds of people. government officials say the claims are absolutely baseless. u.n. inspectors are already in syria to look into previous incidents of alleged chemical weapons use.
president assad remained defiant, denying his forces used chemical weapons, as u.s. military moved a fifth warship toward syria, and white house officials hit hard with questions about there are iraq, insisting they have an air tight case over last week's chemical attack. >> this is not appropiate for totalitarian dictate ores to eors to flauttthem with inpunty. >> i think that the facts will be on the president's side. >> reporter: president signals to pbs he is headed to military action without other from congress or u.s. >> we send a shot across the bow saying stop do this, that could have a positive impact on our national second so, the long-term. >> reporter: retired major bob scale said it is not just a shot across the bow and warned of a wider conflict if assad responds, with striking to israel. >> nobody knows where this is going. >> reporter: senator obama in 2008 warned against symbolic threats against syria and iran. in a interview in 2007 he took a poke at then president bush declaring that iran and syria would change their are halfior if they had some incentives to do so. in h
on government targets. assad has some pretty strong allies. russia and iran. they warned this week and that it be a grave error. assad gave an interview to a russian newspaper. the u.s. can expect to fail. america has taken part in numerous wars, but has never been able to achieve the political objectives. i will begin on my right. we have jordan. welcome to the show. former u.s. state department official, you were based and damascus in the early 1990s. well acquainted with the middle eastern region. right next to you on your right, thank you for being here. assistant professor and a specialist at the american university here in paris. you are a researcher with france foundation for strategic research. last, but not least, joining me by celebrate -- satellite from tel aviv. i am glad you are there to give us your view. i want to cut to the chase. inspectors finally got out to the field today. hanging around in the hotel for five days. they got back and collected some material. under these circumstances, can they do their job? what i think they can do part of their job. the first s
will call for his impeachment. you know, john, iran is a major supporter of syrian president assad. the iranians say they will retaliate itches that's one of the strategic calculations about how to do the military operation, one of the great skepticism you get in congress, you talk to retired diplomats and generals, can you deliver that blunt force on syria, as the president is plachbing, without causing a domino effect. look at a map, you know the whole gulf region right there. the administration is trying to come up with a plan that punishing syria without having a ripple effect. wolf, you know the neighborhood very well. it's very small. there's a lot of hangover at the iraq war debate, whether it's skepticism about the intelligence, the president publicly saying this is not about regime change. so if the president has tough calls to make. >> there's a big hangover, obviously. and the letter from house speaker that jim acosta just spoke about, is so interesting to me. what he specifically -- he asking a whole bunch of questions. one of his questions is, what results is the admin
assad blocked entry for five days. and they seemed to make the legal case for military action declaring the evidence against assad is grounded in fact. >> there is a reason why president obama has made clear to the assad regime that this international norm cannot be violated without consequences. >> reporter: the president is under intense pressure to act after first sketching the red line on the use of chemical weapons at a news conference one year ago this month. and today republican senator john mccain kept the heat on, noting that since last summer assad had already used chemical weapons on a smaller scale. >> now here's the second time. horrific, horrific. and if the united states stands by and doesn't take very serious action, not just launching some cruise missiles, then, again, our credibility in the world is diminished even more, if there's any left. >> reporter: some military analysts warn the president has been agonizing over the wrong red line. saying today, quote, the key challenge in syria is scarcely to end the use of chemical weapons. the real challenge is some 120,000 d
's foreign minister as the assad regime stairs down the possibility of action from a u.s. led coalition. >> this international form cannot be violated without consequences. >> america's toughening position as secretary of state john kerry says the u.s. is now all but certain syria has resorted to using chemical weapons. >> new dangers as the nation's biggest forest fire now threatens thousands of buildings, water and energy sources and america's cherished trees. >> a senior muslim brotherhood leader accusing the military run government there are terrorism. >> the secret service agent grabbed her hand and the gun. >> this chilling flashback as former president gerald ford recounts an assassination attempt on his life 30 years ago. ♪ theme >> syria's foreign minister says a potential u.s. strike on syria would serve the interest of groups there in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 355 people last week in damascus. in a speech moments ago, assad's second in command telling secretary of state john kerr we his regime has not gone against the u.n. investigation. >> it has sa
days. no boots on the ground in syria and no effort to remove syrian leader bashar al assad from power. >> as the president weighs his options, does he want to take out assad? and would his death be a welcomed outcome at this white house? >> i appreciate the question. i want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change. they are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: defense secretary chuck hagel said the pentagon is awaiting the president's call. >> if the order comes, you're ready to go like that? >> we're ready to go like that. >> reporter: president obama has every major u.s. ally echoing his administration's goal for a serious strike. >> this is not about go further into that conflict. it's nothing to do with that. it's about chemical weapons. their use is wrong and the world shouldn't stand idly by. >> translator: france is ready to punish those who took this disgusting decision to gas innocent people. >> reporter: there is even a boost of support coming in f
weapons in syria. but the goal is not to get rid of syrian president bashar al-assad but to send him a message. >> regime change. >> they say no decision has been made but they say most likely it will involve cruise missiles not chemical weapons stock piles. a limited strike is unlikely to change the direction or the mowments in syria. >> in terms of shifting momentum on the ground it's not likely. i think that targeted strikes are really more powerful in terms of the signaling that they achieve. and the sending a very strong message, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. >> many believe the president left himself little choice but to respond. this was one year ago. >> a red line for us is: we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. >> president obama has been hesitant to get involved in syria. the majority of the american people don't want it. and former ambassador robert hunter says the administration is afraid of who could come to power if assad falls. >> then what happens? who replaces that? what happens to the aloites, i
ago, if memory serves me correct. >> yes. >> and you find this move by assad interesting because the title of the battle. >> you would think somebody who did what apparently the regime did last week would be desperate, and by all accounts his situation is much less decemb desperate than six months ago. >> why do it? >> i think he thought he would get away with it. if you look at the red line, president obama laid down the red line a year ago. if in fact there has been as many as 35 attacks, what price has assad paid for that? they wanted to send rifles and bullets to the rebels but there is no evidence those arrived yet. >> we were reporting like a big change of policy but in fact, not much on the ground changed. >> or nothing on the ground. >> or nothing. >> so far for assad there is no price to pay. >> john, we heard from secretary kerry yesterday, secretary hagel this afternoon, biden this afternoon, will we hear from a president before an attack? in memory, we don't usually hear from a president before the attack. >> that's a debate within administration and the conversation
in for brooke baldwin. the world waits as there is a strike on syria. president bashar al assad accused of using chemical warfare on his own people. the next questions, exactly how and when? today defense secretary chuck hagel told the bbc that the u.s. is ready to go. if president obama orders an attack on syria. >> well, as i said, and i think prime minister cameron has said, i think president oulan, our allies, partners, leaders all over the world have said, let's get the facts, let's get the intelligence and then a decision will be made on whether action should be taken, if action should be taken, what action on no action. >> but if they were to come, you're ready to go? >> we're ready to go like that. >> much of the speculation over syria's use of chemical weapons as secretary of state john kerry took the podium at the state department. kerry said he has little doubt that the man he himself sat down with for a meeting in 2009 is responsible for the, quote, indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. >> what we saw in syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. it defies any code of
.s. and allies against the forces of syrian president al assad. >>> nuclear regulators in japan officially raise the level of the leak of radio active water in fukushima and now consider it a serious incident. >>> and 50 years after his "i have a dream" speech, martin luther king jr. continues to inspire people in the u.s. and around the world with his message of equal rights for all. >>> britain is working to lay the groundwork for international action against syria over allegations the military there is behind a deadly chemical weapons attack. david cameron says his country will draft a resolution to the u.n. security council to protect civilians from this type of attack. cameron says the resolution is based on chapter 7 of the u.n. charter which stipulates how to deal with threats against peace. he will condemn the regime of president bashar al assad for an attack that happened last week. it will be put to the security council in new york on wednesday. britain has urged council members to live up to their responsibility and that they have an opportunity to do that now. syria's long-time ally
jazeera. ♪ ♪ >>> who is bash aral-assad. the syrian president could be forcing america into another unpopular mideast war. how did a man who trained to be an opthal gist turn into this leader. >>> and a count think clerk takes what he says the current law into his own hands and joins the hands of those who want a marriage certificate regardless of their sexual preference. should one man be able to change the same-sex marriage debate? good evening, i'm antonio mora, and welcome to "consider this." we begin with syria, as the obama administration weighs its options to intervene in syrian's civil war, the white house's repeated calls for bashar al-assad's removal. >> reporter: after two and a half years of turmoil, leaving more than 100,000 people dead, the man ruling syria has earned the reputation of a ruthless leader, one the white house reiterated on tuesday must go. but he seems set on staying. the 47-year-old wasn't always interested in politics and power, his brother was groomed to follow their father to the presidency. but he died in a car crash in 1994. >> translator: the deat
," "the new york times" taking offline. syrian hackers claiming responsibility. cot assad regime be doing that jp >>> and following the life of aaron hernandez. too big. too small. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection. congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. >>> welcome back to "early start" as the u.s. considers its options in dealing with syria, supporters of the assad regime are thought to be behind an electronic attack on "the new york times" and twitter. >> christine romans here to talk more about this. christine, what do we know who's behind this? >> well a group calling itself the syrian electronic army or someone try to come that has put the site down. very interesting. this has happened just at a time with a lot of criticism about syria and the actions of the assad regime. the s
to move quickly against the assad regime. congressman, let me start with you. a spokesperson for speaker boehner says they've not heard -- members of congress have not heard from the president, and they would need to if military action were to be taken. your response to that? >> well, i'm sure the president, once a decision's made, would certainly inform congress and consult with congress. i certainly have been letting the administration know what i feel, and i'm sure speaker boehner, if he chose, could do the same. of course there will be consultations with congress. >> right now, as you've heard in the reports, the u.n. interviewing witnesses, also taking samples. for many people here at home trying to process this, we know ts are supposed to be crossed, is dotted, but when you see this video here, you have those who ask the question, how is it possible we are still calling this an alleged chemical attack when you see hundreds of people, and when we know the assad regime has done this before? this is not as if we're starting from a blank slate, sir. >> well, you're absolutely right, ta
by the assad regime. and i don't believe we can let that stand. >>> and intelligence officials are preparing to declassify the evidence of what secretary of state kerry called a cowardly crime and cynical attempt to cover it up. >> what we saw in syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. it defies any code of morality. let me be clear, the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. >>> and 50 years later, the dream lives on. our special coverage of the anniversary of the march on washington. today, i'll talk to one of martin luther king's top lieutenants in the fate for civil rights. legendary singer, actor, activist, harry belafonte. >> to be in washington was for me today a beginning really, a kind of a climax to generations of hope. >>> good day, i'm in washington where u.s. officials tell nbc news that limited military strikes again syria could begin, could, in a matter of days. rebel leaders have told chief foreign correspondent richard engle that they hope the u.s. acts befor
: pentagon officials say that u.s. is planning to hit assad with a military strike limited in time and scope, with the goal of weakening assad's power. catherine herridge with our report on how a possible strike could unfold. >> reporter: as obama administration weighs its response to syria alleged use of chemical weapon, state department acknowledged the risk. >> there are a variety of factors that go into that determination, possible consequences and affects in the region. >> reporter: among compelling examples clinton administration response to bombings in 1998. this pharmaceutical factory in sudan believed at the time to produce chemical weapons and training camps in afghanistan were bombed, with hindsight, observers say that missile strikes strengthened bond between al qaeda. >> you are going to use limited military power to send a signal in this case it was al qaeda will not be allowed to threaten the u.s. immediate aftermath is that organization becomes imboldenn imboldenned. >> reporter: reagan administration took a similar tact after the bombing of a disco in 1986, two of the deb dd
the assad regime as u.n. inspectors continue to look into the attack and who may be behind it. fred is the only reporter in damascus. he joins us live this morning. what are inspectors planning to do today and what is the government saying? >> reporter: hi, michaela. the weapons inspectors are planning to go out again. our understanding is they plan to visit the eastern suburbs of damascus. that's what we are hearing on the ground. it's a place that apparently had the highest death toll in the alleged attack that happened last wednesday. yesterday, of course, the weapons inspectors went out to western suburbs of damascus and their vehicles got shot at. they managed to get on the ground. they gathered valuable information, soil samples and other samples. they were able to speak to doctors as well as victims of the alleged attack last wednesday. the inspectors, so far, have not gone out today. what's happened is earller today, the head of the u.n. in addition went out with the u.n. high representative for disarmorment to complain about yesterday's incident where the convoy was shot at
there is no doubt the assad government used chemical weapons on it's people. that's the red line crossed. what will president obama do and will the rest of the world support him? >>> unanswered questions about the kidnapping of hanna anderson and the murder of her brother and mother. lora dimaggio is speaking out for the first time. >>> plus yosemite in flames, the raging fire threatening san francisco's water supply. >>> you loved him and now cnn's inside man morgan spurlock is back going with the biggest band since the beetles, and i'll ask him about miley cyrus and her twerking. >>> cnn's fred is the only western reporter in damascus and he joins me on the phone. fred, what is the latest on the ground in damascus? is there a sense that a military attack from the united states and other u.n. countries could be coming at any moment? >> reporter: oh, it certainly is. there is a feeling a military attack could be coming soon. i've been in touch with syrian officials and given interviews with the country and powerful men here and you have the syrian officials are talking to you have just changed
. some western officials believe that president bashar al assad personally ordered the use of chemical weapons. tonight, the white house says no final decision has been made about any u.s. military action. >> reporter: u.n. inspectors today in damascus. one of their vehicles shot by a sniper, but after a brief delay they finally began their work interviewing survivors, doctors and taking samples. but this may already be a side show. the u.s. and others already believe the assad regime used chemical weapons last week on a scale not seen anywhere in decades. so america is once again building a case for military action. >> there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons. >> reporter: the likely action cruise missile strikes from four u.s. navy destroyers and two submarines already in the mediterranean. possible targets, syrian military facilities and weapons systems, planes and airfields, command and control bunkers, but not u.s. officials say president assad himself. and not chemical weapons stock piles. too risky. would it be legal? u.n. backing is
. the u.s. secretary of state says that he believes there is no doubt that the assad regime used chemical weapons. we have the latest next. >> reporter: these horrific pictures of the aftermath of recent attacks have, after more than two years of war in syria, prompted the strongest words yet from the barack obama administration. secretary of state john kerry made it clear that the u.s. is certain that chemical weapons were used and that he knows who they were used by. >> the firsthand accounts from humanitarian organizations like doctors without borders and the syria human rights commission, all strongly indicate that everything that these images are already screaming at us is real, that chemical weapons were used in syria. moreover we know that the syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. we know that the syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. and we know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. and with our own eyes we have, all of us, become witnesses. >> reporter: following a da
initiative premature. >> the u.s. says it has intercepted communications that prove the assad government was behind a chemical attack. but the syrian ambassador to the united nations denies the charges and says the u.n. inspection will prove it was in fact rebels who launched gas attacks. >> meanwhile, people in damascus are stocking up on supplies out of fears that any u.s. attack would hit civilian areas. >> the u.n. inspectors have resumed their work in a damascus suburb, determining if chemical weapons were used in an attack last week. u.n. and arab league special envoy says their investigation had up 30 -- had already produced onekey piece of evidence. >> it does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people. hundreds, maybe more than hundreds. some people say 300, some people say 600. maybe 1000, maybe more than 1000. >> but he said no military action could go ahead without security council approval. the un's secretary-general urged caution. >> dialogue and political solution is the most important approach. they are making necessary preparations. >> britain
be cooperation from the assad government which suggests considerg to have to other options simultaneously. we know there have been meetings, there will be more at the white house. we know the administration has options it is considering, it considering, about what -- how to proceed but the verydent seems to be concerned about not only the u.s. pressure to lead but also public's desire not to lead. gwen: tell me about this red issue, tom, because we -- the president is the one who "red line" and seems to be back pedaling ever since. what is the line the administration is waiting? state department spokeswoman who we heard from earlier was asked about this said the red she line was already crossed some time ago and we took action, question, now,e what was the raction -- action that we took? talk of providing more supplies, not even arms, more forces soo the rebel clearly the administration has walked way back from that idea that there was going to be something dramatic. what president obama originally said would change the calculus of what we do but what he said a legal that without mandate to g
by consequences for the assad regime. >>> a montana man quicked of raping his 14-year-old student, how could a judge only sentence him to 30 days in prison? an exclusive interview tonight with the victim's mother. >>> and four famous words, i have a dream. dr. martin luther king's vision 50 years later. has the dream come true? let's go outfront. >>> i'm jessica yellin in for erin burnett. outfront tonight breaking news. making the case for war. president obama directly addressed the possibility of a strike against syria just moments ago in an interview with pbs' the news hour. >> we have not yet made a decision but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place. and nobody disputes or hardly anybody disputes that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in syria against civilian populations. we have looked at all of the evidence and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons or chemical weapons of that sort. we do not believe that given the delivery systems using rockets that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. we hav
for a limited strike on syria. not to take down the assad regime but punish it for using chemical weapons. he spoke to gwen eiffel and judy woodruff who asked him the question off the bat. >> how close are you to using a military strike and can you assure the american people by doing so, given iraq and afghanistan, that the united states will not get bogged down in yet another war half way around the world? >> well, first of all, i have not made a decision. i have don't options from our military, had discussions with the team. we do not believe the opposition could have carried out these attacks. we have concluded the syrian government, in fact, carry these out. if that is so, there need to be international consequences. >> as for what the consequences might be the president said he does not see an open-ended conflict with damascus. the aim, he said, would be to send a signal. >> we want the assad regime to understand that by using chemical weapons on a large-scale, against your own people, against women, against infants, against children, that you are not only breaking norms and standards of
the syrian government, assad's government is responsible for the chemical attacks and what amounts to sustaining this warfare in the nation of syria. but right now on the first step they would like to take is that it be defined it was the government that used the chemical weapons because that will be a game-changer in syria and something the rebels to want see. >> us live from beirut, david, thank you very much. mean white reuters is quoting a senior white house official saying there is very little doubt that chemical weapons were used by the syrian government against the civilians there. it was only a year ago that obama warned about the use of chemical weapons saying it was a red line for the u.s. mike joins us now with more and mike, that red line seems to be moving a lot these days? >> well, and by comments of the senior administration officials this morning, the red line has been crossed for a second time. really remarkable here over the last 24-48 hours, dell, it seemed more and more obvious the u.s. and its allies are moving towards some sort of military action against the a
the assad government has been building throughout the day, and as we begin here tonight, there are several new developments to report. the white house says it will release solid evidence that the syrian government ordered a mass chemical weapons attack on its own people last week. on the diplomatic side, international support for an attack is growing. and from the pentagon, word that u.s. war ships are in place and ready to launch when the order is given. this fast moving chain of events all touched off by those horrific images of dead and dying civilians that shocked the world. nbc's andrea mitchell begins our coverage tonight from washington. andrea, good evening. >> good evening, lester. brushing aside assad's denial, the administration's goal is to punish him and stop him from ordering another chemical attack. hoping to prevent more deaths from devastating weapons not seen in decades. and lester, fair warning, these latest pictures are very hard to watch. this is a different kind of war. a war that kills babies silently, suddenly, bathing them not in blood, but in the tears of a doctor
council. russia is a big assad supporter. assad's other ally is iran which is vowing to strike israel. as a precaution, they're calling to issue gas masks. turkey is constructing bunkers and they're sending experts to the syrian border. because there are so many parts, we're looking at this in three sections. first, we're looking a the the pentagon, what's going on behind closed doors at the white house and finally the role of congress in all of this. they're being briefed tonight on u.s. intelligence. we start with nbc news pentagon correspondent jim mikel chef ski. how long before we strike? >> once the president gives the go ahead, the order to launch those missile strikes against the syrian regime and much of those chemical delivery targets, it could be a matter of hours because those targets have been put in place for some time now. they tinker with them on a daily basis when they see them move, some military forces and equipment from here to there. they have the basic target set down. to go after those delivery systems, the rocket launchers, ar till ler ris, tanks. again, they e
action against the assad regime. jon: just yesterday president obama said there is no doubt the syrian government carried out last week's chemical attack killing hundreds of people. he added, he has not made a decision yet on authorizing a strike. u.n. inspectors are collecting evidence at the site of the alleged attack are expected to leave syria on saturday and report their findings to u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon. britain said it will hold off joining any military efforts against syria until that team releases its findings. it is not yet clear if the united states will wait. right now a number about u.s. lawmakers are urging congressional approval before any action is taken. syria denies gassing civilians, claiming rebels were behind the attack. according to syria's state news agency, president assad says syria will defend itself against any aggression. live team fox coverage. driven give is live at the pentagon. first to chief white house correspondent ed henry at the white house. what is the latest we're hearing from the president on all this, ed? >> reporter: good morning,
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